Advanced Materials, Vol.24, No.33, 4473-4498, 2012
Templated Nanocarbons for Energy Storage
The template carbonization method is a powerful tool for producing carbon materials with precisely controlled structures at the nanometer level. The resulting templated nanocarbons exhibit extraordinarily unique (often ordered) structures that could never be produced by any of the conventional methods for carbon production. This review summarizes recent publications about templated nanocarbons and their composites used for energy storage applications, including hydrogen storage, electrochemical capacitors, and lithium-ion batteries. The main objective of this review is to clarify the true significance of the templated nanocarbons for each application. For this purpose, the performance characteristics of almost all templated nanocarbons reported thus far are listed and compared with those of conventional materials, so that the advantages/disadvantages of the templated nanocarbons are elucidated. From the practical point of view, the high production cost and poor mass-producibility of the templated nanocarbons make them rather difficult to utilize; however, the study of their unique, specific, and ordered structures enables a deeper insight into energy storage mechanisms and the guidelines for developing energy storage materials. Thus, another important purpose of this work is to establish such general guidelines and to propose future strategies for the production of carbon materials with improved performance for energy storage applications.
Keywords:anodic aluminum oxides;carbon inverse opals;ordered mesoporous carbons;zeolite-templated carbons;supercapacitors